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Need help deciding between new Mastercraft XT20 and Malibu VTX!?!


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Hi!

I have a 2001 Xstar that I am looking to replace. The lake I use the boat on has size (weight and length) restrictions so these are really the only two new boats I can get.

I've driven and ridden behind both Mastercraft XT20 and Malibu VTX. We probably ski 20% of the time, wakeboard 30% of the time, and surf 50% of the time.

They are both pretty sweet boats and there are features of each I like more than the other.

I had originally thought it was going to be the XT20 for sure but the Malibu really impressed me (driver controls/display, ballast, handling, wakes, power wedge, center pylon option) but the XT20 has some nice features as well (pickle fork bow, teak platform, really solid tower, smoother ride in chop, hard ballast capacity).

What would you do? Any specific things I should consider? And, any particular thoughts about the Mastercraft Gen2 vs. Malibu Surfgate + Power Wedge?

Also, any thoughts on 6.0L vs. 6.2L engine for the XT20 AND M5 vs. M6 engine for the Malibu?

One other consideration is that the local Malibu dealer is super responsive, extremely helpful, and very honest.

I know this is a Malibu forum but what value your feedback regardless!

Thank you much!

  • Like 1
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If you like both boats, dealer would be a huge factor.  Is the MC dealer just as good as your Bu dealer?  VTX is presumably a little cheaper as well, which never hurts.    M5 is likely fine for the VTX.  M6 would be like driving a high performance sports car when put in a 20’ boat.  
 

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I am biased but VTX hands down. The 2020 redesign is amazing. We had a 2019 prior and the 2020 not only skis way better, but it surfs way better too. I have a friend with a 2018 T22 that is constantly out with us and he said he’d grade our wave pretty much equal to his. And I can be skiing very aggressively fifteen minutes prior to surfing. I have a very detailed review here that gives specifics on the whole boat, surfing and skiing. Let me know if you have any further questions!

 

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Thanks a bunch. That's a great review. I'm hearing about some quality issues...especially with regard to the impeller. Anyone have any experience with that? Thank you! 

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There have been a rash of failed impellers on the M5/M6 with the Sherwood pump, but it is supposedly fixed for new builds coming off the line.   In any case, it isn’t an issue that should keep someone from buying   Carry a spare and know how to swap it on the water, which isn’t too hard.  Not ideal, but also not a dealbreaker and hopefully not even an issue on a new build.   

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1 hour ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

I am biased but VTX hands down. The 2020 redesign is amazing. We had a 2019 prior and the 2020 not only skis way better, but it surfs way better too. I have a friend with a 2018 T22 that is constantly out with us and he said he’d grade our wave pretty much equal to his. And I can be skiing very aggressively fifteen minutes prior to surfing. I have a very detailed review here that gives specifics on the whole boat, surfing and skiing. Let me know if you have any further questions!

 

I continue to be amazed by your surf wave hop!

  • Like 2
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I’m going to guess by your handle and lake restrictions that you’re on Lake Oswego. You won’t go wrong with a VTX from AWS and they will take amazing care of you.

Matt keeps his own VTX on the lake so it’s very possible that’s the one you demoed. 

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Thanks for the input. Definitely a tough choice...they both seem awesome and agree that AWS seems pretty solid. My friend has a boat from them and they have taken pretty good care of them I think. 

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7 hours ago, JdogNW said:

Thanks a bunch. That's a great review. I'm hearing about some quality issues...especially with regard to the impeller. Anyone have any experience with that? Thank you! 

The only thing we’ve had is an amp replaced. The impeller issues are which @hethj7 states. The performance of the M5 in the VTX is awesome. Yes the impeller issue is in the back of my mind, but honestly monitoring engine temp while on the boat is always on my mind. The only thing I did different this year is burp the throttle at startup for the first time of the day or after sitting for awhile. We have no issues through 90 hours. 

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Can a NXT 20 surf?  I have spent countless hours on a 2018 22 NXT that you could barely ride behind.  The reason I ask is you spend 50% of the time surfing.

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The XT20 wake with no ballast, no tabs, 2 people in the boat was pretty good. The VTX actually wasn't as good as the XT20 w/o ballast, wedge, gate. Fully loaded the VTX was better. I tried to upload pics to this but could not seem to figure that out....sorry!

 

 

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Ski 20% of the time?

VTX.  Go for it.

BTW, the M5 vs the 6.0L base motor comparison goes to the M5.  It's a much newer generation engine.  The 6.0L is a workhorse, but it's old, and won't get the fuel economy of the M5 (boats being equal).

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On 10/22/2020 at 4:17 PM, Five Cent Worth said:

Can a NXT 20 surf?  I have spent countless hours on a 2018 22 NXT that you could barely ride behind.  The reason I ask is you spend 50% of the time surfing.

Technically, yes.  Compared to choices available at the same price point....NO.  We demo'ed one in July 2019.  After 15 minutes of the dealer guy "dialing in" the wave, i looked back and (literally) said "is that the best wave it will make?"  The Axis T22 i test drove (yes, i understand that its 2ft longer) made a wave that was on a completely different level than the NXT20.  My wife (who knew absolutely NOTHING about boats) looked at the wave (and boat in general) and asked me how quick can we get off the boat. 

Edited by Texan32
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